Ballot Initiative Proposes a Hefty Cigarette Tax Hike

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JEFFERSON CITY -  A proposed petition initiative will increase the current cigarette tax by $.73 cents on Friday. Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the nation at $.17 cents per pack.

There is a requirement of 100,000 petition signatures for this tax proposal to be included in the statewide ballot in November. Nearly 220,000 petition signatures were delivered to the Secretary of State around 2 p.m. on Friday.

"We have nearly doubled what we actually need to have to turn in so that we will guarantee that we will be on the ballot in November," said Misty Snodgrass, director of government affairs for the American Cancer Society.

The generated revenue from this tax will help go to fund health initiatives and smoking awareness programs.

Missouri resident Curtis Reed has been smoking since he was sixteen and said this tax will not keep him from buying cigarettes. "I won't stop buying cigarettes. I'll go and find something cheaper," Reed said.

Click here to see all state cigarette taxes.

Saturday, May 7 is the last day to turn in signatures.